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Catholic Social ActivismProgressive Movements in the United States$
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Sharon Erickson Nepstad

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479885480

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479885480.001.0001

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Compassion for Immigrants and the Sanctuary Movements

Compassion for Immigrants and the Sanctuary Movements

Chapter:
(p.127) 5 Compassion for Immigrants and the Sanctuary Movements
Source:
Catholic Social Activism
Author(s):

Sharon Erickson Nepstad

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479885480.003.0006

This chapter depicts some of the current debates and pressing issues around immigration reform and the treatment of refugees in the United States. It provides an overview of the Catholic Church’s teachings on immigration, which emphasize that all people have the right to emigrate when their lives are threatened or when they are unable to survive in their homelands. These teachings strongly mandate that all immigrants should be welcomed, assisted, treated with dignity, and given their basic human rights, regardless of their legal status. This chapter explores how American Catholics have responded to immigration concerns and crises. It documents the actions of the Sanctuary movement of the 1980s, which defied immigration laws to help Salvadorans and Guatemalans who were fleeing civil war violence in their homelands. Sanctuary activists assisted these refugees across the border and protected them in churches and synagogues throughout the United States. The chapter concludes with a summary of the New Sanctuary Movement in the twenty-first century, which is focused on reforming immigration policy and preventing the deportation of members in “mixed-status” families.

Keywords:   immigration, Sanctuary movement, New Sanctuary Movement

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